Wednesday 21 April 2021

Campaign trail: what business wants, CDA says no

The Netherlands will elect a new government in 22 days time and campaigning is well under way. Here’s a round-up of the latest election news.

What employers want

Current prime minister Mark Rutte should stay in charge during the next government period, according to a poll of 4,000 decision-makers at Dutch companies carried out for the Financieele Dagblad newspaper.

One in three of those polled said they would vote for Rutte’s VVD on March 15, well down on the 44% support Rutte had before the 2012 general election. The Christian Democrats, D66 and anti-Islam PVV all took around 10% in the FD poll.

The main election issues, according to employers are boosting employment and controlling immigration.

CDA says no

Christian Democrat leader Sybrand Buma has rejected overtures from the Socialists, GroenLinks and Labour party about potentially forming a centre-left cabinet. ‘It is a ridiculous idea,’ Buma said in Tuesday’s Telegraaf.

While there are some overlaps in policy – such as in healthcare – that does not mean he will support a left-wing agenda, Buma said. In particular, differences over environmental policy and refugees are ‘minefields apart’, the CDA leader said.

Wilders says no

PVV leader Geert Wilders has rejected an invitation from BNR radio editor in chief Sjors Frohlich to talk about the problems surrounding his participation in a pre-election debate on March 5. BNR is one of the organisers of the debate, alongside RTL. Wilders pulled out of the debate after RTL published an interview with his brother.

‘Was I not clear enough already. Your invitation is in the bin. Go and annoy someone else,’ Wilders said on Twitter.

Wilders also rejected an invitation to take part in a debate on Islam involving nine other parties taking part in the election. ‘No way, unless I can close the mega mosque and then the others’, Wilders said in a tweet.

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